Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Ten Ways to Love

I saw this on someone else’s blog and it was too good to not repost. Happy last day of January!

Until next time.

Ciao!

Ten Ways to Love

1. Listen without interrupting. (Proverbs 18)
2. Speak without accusing. (James 1:19)
3. Give without sparing. (Proverbs 21:26)
4. Pray without ceasing. (Colossians 1:9)
5. Answer without arguing. (Proverbs 17:1)
6. Share without pretending. (Ephesians 4:15)
7. Enjoy without complaint. (Philippians 2:14)
8. Trust without wavering. (Corinthians 13:7)
9. Forgive without punishing. (Colossians 3:13)
10. Promise without forgetting. (Proverbs 13:12)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Dear, Jade Rebekah









Dear Jade,

My darling daughter, I don't know if words will ever be able to tell you how much I love you and how proud I am of you.  It's hard to believe that you are now 20 years old, I remember the day you were born in such vivid detail, it can't possibly have been that long ago....but here were are.  Two decades later.

This has been such a hard year and I am so proud of how you have weathered the storm.  Not only are you doing well, you are thriving.  I think one of the best things that has happened this year is I finally understand the phrase "work yourself out of a job" as a parent.  You have truly become my friend.  

I have every confidence that you will go on to be successful in your academic pursuits and eventual career.  The birthday card I have you this morning pretty much sums it up....Daughter of my heart, Joy of my life, Sunshine of my world.

Happy 20th Birthday.

Love Always, 

Mom

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Recipe of the week: Twice baked sweet potatoes

My family loves twice baked potatoes and when I saw this recipe I knew I had to try it.  Sweet potatoes are so tasty and much better for you than regular potatoes.  You can read here about their health benefits.  I made a couple of changes to the original recipe, instead of a shallot I used a large green onion that I bought from the farmer's market.   It was the size of a small lemon and I used olive oil instead of butter, you can use either.  I'd use whatever I have on hand.  My picture isn't as pretty as the original, but they sure were tasty!  Let me know what you think.  A Votre Sante!



Twice baked sweet potatoes


2 medium or large sweet potatoes
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion
1 bunch of spinach leaves
1/4 cup light sour cream
2 ounces light cream cheese
1 cup chickpeas
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper to taste


Instructions
Bake sweet potatoes at 350 for 45-60 minutes, or until fork tender.
Cut sweet potatoes in half and let cool for 5-10 minutes. While sweet potatoes are cooling, saute the onion and olive oil over medium heat until translucent. Add fresh spinach and heat for 2-3 minutes, until spinach has cooked down. Set aside.


Scrape the sweet potato out of the peel, leaving a thin layer inside with the peel so that it can stand up on its own. Mash the sweet potato with the cream cheese and sour cream. Stir in chickpeas, spinach mixture, and salt and pepper.


Coat potato skins with a drizzle of oil and bake for about 5 minutes to get a crispier outside. Remove from oven and fill each skin with the sweet potato mixture and top with shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake again for 10-15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and filling is heated through.

(The link to the original post is here, their picture was better than mine)  http://pinchofyum.com/healthy-sweet-potato-skins.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Three things...

3 Things in life that once gone and never come back:
Time, words, opportunity.

3 Things in life that can destroy a person:
Anger. pride, unforgiveness

3 Things in life that you should never lose:
Hope, peace, honesty.

3 Things in life that are most valuable:
Love, Family & Friends, Kindness.

3 Things that are never certain:
Dreams, success, fortune.

3 Things that make a person:
Hard work, sincerity, commitment.

~Author Unknown~

I hope you have a beauty-filled day.

Ciao

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Read the label first!

This is so funny!  I always thought these warnings were ridiculous until a few weeks ago when my husband came home from work with a burn mark on his chest.  I asked him what happened and he said he was trying to steam iron his shirt, while he was wearing it!  So this is for him and all the other people out there that might need this....



Some actual product warning labels:


On the bottle-top of a (UK) flavoured milk drink -
AFTER OPENING, KEEP UPRIGHT. (duh!)


On a New Zealand insect spray -
THIS PRODUCT NOT TESTED ON ANIMALS.


In a US guide to setting up a new computer -
TO AVOID CONDENSATION FORMING, ALLOW THE BOXES TO WARM
UP TO ROOM TEMPERATURE BEFORE OPENING.
(Make sense...except these instructions we're IN THE BOX!)


In some countries, on the bottom of Coke bottles -
OPEN OTHER END.


On a Sears hairdryer -
DO NOT USE WHILE SLEEPING.
( Now THAT I'd like to see! )


On a bag of Fritos -
YOU COULD BE A WINNER! NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. DETAILS INSIDE.
(The shoplifter special!)


On a bar of Dial soap -
DIRECTIONS - USE LIKE REGULAR SOAP.
(And that would be how?)


On Tesco's Tiramisu dessert (printed on BOTTOM of the box)
* DO NOT TURN UPSIDE DOWN.
(oops...Too late! You lose!)


On Marks & Spencer Bread Pudding -
PRODUCT WILL BE HOT AFTER HEATING.
(Are you sure? Let's experiment.)


On a Korean kitchen knife -
WARNING KEEP OUT OF CHILDREN.


On a string of Chinese-made Christmas lights -
FOR INDOOR OR OUTDOOR USE ONLY.
(As opposed to what...use in outer space?)


On an American Airlines packet of nuts -
INSTRUCTIONS - OPEN PACKET, EAT NUTS.
(I'm sure glad they cleared that up.)


On a Swedish chainsaw -
DO NOT ATTEMPT TO STOP CHAIN WITH YOUR HANDS OR GENITALS.
(What kind of consumer phone-call led to this warning?)


On a child's superman costume -
WEARING OF THIS GARMENT DOES NOT ENABLE YOU TO FLY.
That's right, destroy a universal childhood fantasy!)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Recipe of the week: Cauliflower crust pizza

I made this recipe the other day and liked it a lot.  It's certainly not the same texture as pizza crust but it doesn't have flour or gluten.  I topped mine with olives, fresh basil, tomatoes, mozzarella and Parmesan.  This makes one pizza, enough for 2 people, or one if you're really hungry!  A Votre Sante!









Cauliflower crust pizza

1 cup cooked, riced cauliflower
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 egg, beaten
1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp crushed garlic
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of red pepper
olive oil (optional)

pizza sauce, shredded cheese and your choice of toppings


To "rice" the cauliflower:
Take pieces of fresh cauliflower, remove stems and leaves.  Add pieces to the food processor and pulse until it looks like rice.  Do not over-do pulse or you will puree it. (If you don't have a food processor, you can grate it with a cheese grater).  Place the riced cauliflower into a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 3 to 4 minutes.  There's no need to add water, the natural moisture in the cauliflower is enough to cook it.


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a pizza pan or cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray.

To make the crust:
In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup cauliflower, egg and mozzarella. Add oregano, crushed garlic and garlic salt, stir. Transfer to the cookie sheet, and using your hands, pat out into a 9" round. Optional: Brush olive oil over top of mixture to help with browning.
Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.
Remove from oven. Add sauce, toppings and cheese. Return to the oven for about 5 minutes to melt the cheese or put in the broiler for 3 to 4 minutes.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Book Review: Beautiful Outlaw

I received an autographed copy of Beautiful Outlaw in the mail back in October with an invitation from John Eldredge to read it and review it for my blog, I was so excited when I opened the package.

Beautiful Outlaw is well written and depicts the personality of Jesus unlike anything I've read that's nonfiction.  The only other time I've read anything about the playfulness of Jesus was in The Shack by W.P. Young.  John Eldredge does an amazing job of breaking down different component of Jesus's personality from his fierceness, his playfulness, his generosity, his disruptive honesty, his humility etc.

In every chapter John breaks down at least one of the parables in the gospels and points out what most of us have never seen about Jesus's personality.  I think the chapter about Jesus's being cunning was my favorite.  I love how being innocent as doves and as shrewd as snakes is depicted.

The chapters that had the most impact on me were 14, 'Letting Jesus Be Himself- With You and 17, Letting His Life Fill Yours.  I found some very profound truths that I needed to hear in those chapters.

Thank you, John for another amazing book, I hope and pray that people find the scandalous freedom you and Jesus speak of.

Until next time.
Ciao.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Recipe of the week: White chocolate gingerbread cookies

I found a version of this recipe on Pinterest a few weeks back, they were delicious. I put half the batch in the freezer, the froze well and we are still enjoying them. Let me know what you think.  A Votre Sante!









2 cups whole wheat flour


1 cup unbleached flour
2 tsp. Ginger, Ground
1 tsp. Cinnamon, Ground
1 tsp. baking soda
a dash of nutmeg
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
1 egg
1/4 cup granulated sugar or raw sugar
1 tsp. pure Vanilla Extract
1 cup white chocolate chips

Mix flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and salt in large bowl.
Beat butter and brown sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Add molasses, egg and vanilla; beat well.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.

Bake 9 to 10 minutes or until edges of cookies just begin to brown.  To make uniformed sized holes in the center of the cookie, I used the back of a rounded measuring spoon.  Mine look like this.  Immediately drop about 7-8 white chocolate chips into center of each cookie, stir slightly with a toothpick. Remove to wire racks; cool completely. Store cookies in airtight container up to 5 days or freeze in an air tight container. 


The original recipe was from McCormick and Company Inc. I adapted it some.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Resolutions

Happy 2012!  I know many people make New Year's resolutions....I'm really not one of them.  I have thought about it this year and if there's one thing I'd like to start doing again, it's scrap booking.  I was an avid scrap booker for years and as I had more kids and got busier it went by the way side.  Now I have countless photos that I've never even printed out, let alone put them in a scrap book!

I know most people are trying to lose weight or get back in shape, if that's you, I found this on Pinterest and thought it was fairly good advice....



I hope you had a joyous holiday season and pray that this finds you well.  I for one was very happy to start a new year, 2011 was very challenging on many levels.

Until next time....Ciao!